EDF sees record UK output as French drops

14 February 2017

French utility EDF today announced its financial results for 2016, noting inspections of steam generators at some of its reactors in France led to a year-on-year drop in output of almost 8%. Output from its British reactors was, however, at a record high.

Group sales were €71.203 billion ($75.630 billion), 5.1% lower. Operating profit was up 75.6% at €7.514 billion, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were 6.7% lower, at €16.414 billion. The group's share of net income grew 140.2% to €2.851 billion on lower impairment losses and an extension to 50 years of the accounting depreciation period of its 900 MWe pressurised water reactors in France.

EDF aims to reduce its operational expenditure by at least €1 billion in 2019 compared with 2015. In 2016, it achieved a €0.3 billion reduction in operational expenditure compared with the previous year. The group aims to reduce its operational expenditure by €0.7 billion in 2018 compared with 2015.

Capital increase

EDF's board of directors have approved a €4 billion capital increase with preferential subscription rights to existing shareholders.

The company said it plans to launch the capital increase - announced last April - by the end of March 2017, subject to market conditions and after having received approval from the French financial market regulator on the prospectus.

The French state - EDF's largest shareholder - has committed to subscribe for €3 billion worth of the new shares.

EDF's nuclear output in France was 384 TWh, in line with its target of 378-385 TWh. Output was 7.9% lower, primarily due to additional inspections - in particular of steam generators - resulting in outages or the extension of certain planned outages.

"The analyses and tests carried out on the steam generators potentially affected by the carbon segregation issue led the French Nuclear Safety Authority to grant approval to restart 17 out of the 18 reactors concerned, confirming the ability of these reactors to operate safely," EDF said. The Civaux 1 reactor is undergoing inspections. EDF noted unplanned outages in France were at an historical low.

Output from its nuclear power plants in the UK was at the record level of 65.1 TWh, up 4.5 TWh, on the "excellent operational performance" of the units.

"Nuclear generation in 2016 benefitted from the very high level of fleet availability and a historically-low rate of unplanned outages," EDF said.

UK subsidiary EDF Energy invested £529 million ($660 million) in its eight nuclear power plants.

"During a period of depressed prices, an effective carbon price floor and capacity market have been critical in giving EDF Energy the confidence to invest and extend the operating lives of these power stations, providing the UK with reliable, low-carbon electricity," it said.

This year will feel the effects of lower market prices in France and the UK compared with 2016, EDF said. Its nuclear output in France will be influenced by outage at Bugey 5, Fessenheim 2, Gravelines 5 and Paluel 2 and by a number of planned outages from its ongoing Grand Carénage operating period extension program. It has targeted nuclear output of 390-400 TWh this year.

EDF chairman and CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy said the 2016 financial results show EDF's fundamentals are "robust". "The group's transformation is well under way, thanks to the commitment and remarkable effort of its employees. The CAP 2030 strategy is advancing at a steady pace and the performance plan is progressing according to the announced trajectory, a sure sign that the company is moving forward," he said.

"We shaill continue this momentum in 2017 by launching new offers and innovative services for our customers, by developing low-carbon projects and by exporting our expertise into targeted markets outside Europe."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News